Sam Sacks

Sam Sacks has 703 articles published.

Court Rules President’s Words Have Little Meaning, War is Raging in Afghanistan

A prisoner’s bid to end a fifteen-year stint at Guantanamo Bay, by arguing that the war in Afghanistan was over, had his hopes dashed in a federal court this week. Moath al-Alwi, captured in 2001, argued that statements made by the previous administration, suggesting hostilities in Afghanistan had ceased, meant that prisoners of war from that conflict should be freed, in accordance with long-established law of war principles. Alwi’s legal team specifically cited statements made by former President Obama in 2015. One was made during his annual State… Keep Reading

ATF Made Millions in “Off-the-Books” Cig Smuggling Op

Another Department of Justice informant program is under scrutiny following a New York Times report disclosing the existence of an undercover financing operation–this one involving illegal cigarette sales. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) enlisted the help of a Virginia tobacco distributor in 2011, to swindle a farmers’ cooperative out of $24 million. Some of the money was then used to finance ATF undercover activities, including $1 million payments each to two owners of the distribution company. The Times expose was… Keep Reading

Trump’s Anti-Immigration Regime Takes Shape

Homeland Security chief John Kelly issued a memo to department leadership Monday, outlining how agencies will implement anti-immigration executive orders given last month by President Trump. The guidance broadens the criteria of individuals eligible for removal from the country. It also loosens restrictions on immediate deportations, and orders Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offices to reallocate funding away from immigration advocacy programs. The move also allows for the hiring of 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, and for the dismantling of safeguards erected for undocumented immigrants during… Keep Reading

Government Has Yet to Implement Roughly 1,000 Cyber Security Recommendations

A report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Tuesday revealed that federal agencies are dragging their feet establishing necessary safeguards against cyber attacks. The government watchdog noted that it has over recent years made about 2,500 recommendations to agencies to bolster their cyber defenses. “As of February 2017,” the report went on to state, “about 1,000 of our information security-related recommendations had not been implemented.” Federal information security, protecting critical infrastructure, and defending the government’s store of personally identifiable information are all listed as “high… Keep Reading

Michael Flynn

In Wake of Flynn Resignation, Dems & GOP Spar Over Broadening Russian Probes

The fledgling Trump administration is already dealing with a high-profile resignation. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn stepped down on Monday night, amid reporting that he broke the law during a December phone call with a Russian ambassador, and then lied about it. In his resignation letter, Flynn admitted only that he “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information.” As late as Monday afternoon, it had appeared Flynn’s job might be safe. White House advisor Kelly Ann Conway claimed on MSNBC that… Keep Reading

Govt. Watchdog to Trump: Do Something About Food Safety

In a report issued on Monday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) called on the White House to implement a national food safety plan to address weaknesses in the current oversight regime. The watchdog cited negative outcomes in the existing system due to excessive fragmentation, with more than 3,000 agencies involved in the majority of food safety initiatives. “Although the US food supply is generally considered safe, foodborne illness remains a costly, common public health problem,” the report stated. It went on to recommend that the… Keep Reading

Trump Declares “New Era of Justice” as Session Takes Oath

Violent crime rates are at a near 20-year low, but the President of the United States tasked his newly sworn-in Attorney General to get a hold of the “gang members and drug dealers terrorizing” the nation. Former Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.) was sworn in during a ceremony in the Oval Office on Thursday. Afterward, President Trump signed three executive orders that he described as “designed to restore safety in America.” One measure directs the Department of Justice to create a task force on reducing violent… Keep Reading

Following Army Corps Approval, DAPL Fight Heads to Courts, Washington

Barring an order from the courts, construction will resume imminently on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline—fulfilling one of President Donald Trump’s first executive actions. On Wednesday, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced it would grant easement to the fossil fuel infrastructure project, which had been halted in the final months of the Obama administration. The corps concurrently killed a planned environmental impact statement (EIS) on the pipeline’s final leg, which crosses North Dakota’s Lake Oahe, near critical water supplies and areas considered sacred by the Standing… Keep Reading

DHS Chief John Kelly

D.H.S. Chief Kelly Floats Making Visitors to U.S. “Give Us Your Passwords”

Appearing before a congressional panel on Tuesday, the Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly proposed requiring foreign travelers to the US to provide immigration officers with social media account log-ins. Kelly faced questioning on the issue from Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), who urged the department to “increase its efforts to dig into” social media activity of visa applicants. The DHS chief concurred, stating that he was looking into “enhanced” screening, regardless of the current order blocking implantation of President Trump’s Muslim ban. “If someone wants to… Keep Reading

Trump Admin. Continues to Float Protester Conspiracy

In his first few weeks in office, Donald Trump has faced relentless agitation from people in the streets, with protesters reacting to his Muslim Ban executive order, his anti-immigration plans, and the appointment of white nationalist Steve Bannon to a top job in the White House. In response, the administration has, without proof, spun an elaborate tale for all the dissent. Speaking to Fox News on Monday, Sean Spicer again floated the idea that protesters who’ve taken to the streets against Trump and alt-right figureheads like… Keep Reading

District Sentinel Video: The Women’s March on Washington

Millions of Americans took to the streets, on Jan. 21, in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington, DC. We were in the nation’s capital to ask demonstrators why they came out to confront President Trump on his first full day in office. Here is what they said: Keep Reading

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